MLB Joins AGM’s Responsible Gaming Initiative

MLB will also assist the National Council on Problem Gambling in its initiatives by using its platform to shed light on the NCPG’s hotline.

Last Updated: September 29, 2022 3:14 PM ET
Reading time: 4 minutes

Responsible gaming initiatives surged this month, with Major League Baseball joining the club after announcing a partnership with the American Gaming Association’s “Have a Game Plan” program.

“As legalized betting continues to grow across the country, MLB is committed to ensuring that fans who choose to bet also have the tools and resources to bet responsibly,” said Kenny Gersh, vice-president. MLB Executive Chairman, Business Development.

Beginning this postseason, MLB will air public service announcements on some of its broadcasts. They will also invite each baseball team to partner with them individually to promote responsible strategies.

The league will also assist the National Council on Problem Gambling with its initiatives by using its platform to shed light on the NCPG’s hotline.

“MLB understands that as legal sports betting grows, our collective commitment to accountability also grows,” said AGA Senior Vice President Casey Clark. “This partnership will have a significant impact, teaching fans across the country the fundamentals of responsible betting.”

For its part, the AGM will educate MLB on league-wide responsible gaming through “annual benchmarks and trainings.”

Other Responsible Gambling Initiatives

Although Responsible Gambling Education Month ends this week, the past few weeks have seen an increase in discussion and strategies for responsible gambling.

Some of the biggest sportsbooks released a 12-point pledge this month, creating an “industry standard” to tackle problem gambling. The commitment includes adopting a national phone number, funding research and promoting responsible strategies.

The AGA also hosted a webinar where industry members mentioned their collaboration in their research and discussions with regulators to advance responsible gambling goals.

Other professional sports leagues, in addition to MLB, also contributed. The PGA Tour, which was originally reluctant to work with online sports betting, released a public service announcement promoting the AGM’s “Have a Game Plan” earlier this month and associated with the AGM in January. 2021.

The NFL also ran its own responsible gambling ad on Sunday Night Football, under its motto “Stick to Your Gameplan”.

MLB in the spotlight

Although in the shadow of the NFL in the fall, September and October are when the MLB season really shines.

This month has featured two milestones, with Albert Pujols hitting 700 career home runs and Aaron Judge’s pursuit of Roger Maris and the American League single-season home run record – which has seen sports betting offer some number of important promotions linked to Pujols and Judge.

The World Series – if it lasts seven games – will end on November 5. Just three days later, California, home to five MLB teams (Angels, Dodgers, Padres, Athletics and Giants), will head to the polls to decide whether the Golden State will have online sportsbooks, sports betting at the retail or no sports betting at all.

MLB previously announced that it supported Prop 27, the ballot measure allowing online sports betting. In a statement, MLB “believes that Prop 27 has the necessary safeguards to create a safe and responsible online sports betting market in California.” However, a recent poll suggests that there is a good chance that this measure will fail in November.

Overall, however, MLB is not necessarily all-in on sports betting. While expressing support for one side of the California sports betting referendum, they have not committed any financial funding – unlike DraftKings and FanDuel, which have contributed millions of dollars.

Additionally, MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said in July that the rapid expansion of league betting sponsorship after the repeal of PASPA gave him pause.

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